Geraldton students hear from road trauma survivor

Michael RobertsGeraldton Guardian
Geraldton Senior High School students Amanda Lane and Indi Larter with road trauma survivor Rob Pike.
Camera IconGeraldton Senior High School students Amanda Lane and Indi Larter with road trauma survivor Rob Pike. Credit: Pictures: Michael Roberts

Geraldton high school students learned about the life-changing consequences of dangerous driving during a road safety education session at Queens Park Theatre on Thursday.

Students watched a filmed re-enactment of a serious car crash featuring real-life paramedics, firefighters and police during the session organised by the RAC.

The teenagers also heard a heart-wrenching story from road trauma survivor Rob Pike, who was involved in an accident in his last year of high school.

The car in which Mr Pike was travelling hit a big puddle of water, spun out of control and hit a tree, killing three friends he was with.

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Mr Pike’s legs were severed in the crash.

“We didn’t feel like we were doing anything dangerous, but we were,” he said.

“We were speeding, we weren’t driving to the weather conditions. When the car split in half my feet were actually in the front half of the car and my body went into the back half of the car.

“Life changed in a split second. That’s why we are here, we want these students to realise that life can be impacted by some ill-thought-out choices.”

Young people continue to be some of the State’s most vulnerable road users, according to the RAC, with the number of 17 to 19-year-olds killed on WA roads last year double that of 2019.

Self-esteem and wanting to be liked are some of the main reasons young people make terrible decisions behind the wheel, according to Happiness Co. CEO Julian Pace.

“What we are trying to remind the students of is peer pressure is difficult, but the choices that you make can change people’s lives in a terrible and tragic way,” he said.

Mr Pace asked students to consider the risks when it came to driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

“These workshops are really powerful to let them know ‘hey, you can make risky choices, but be risky with things that aren’t going to cost your friends’ or your own life,” he said.

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